A reader from Adelaide, Australia writes with a frequent question:
"Hi, I am trying to find a computer program that is used to age people in photos, Eg: a relative passed away" ... " Is there such a program available.... Kindest Regards
Thank you Australia...
We get at least ONE of these questions a month. It's a tough one...
Unfortunately ladies and gentlemen, there is NO silver bullet for aging photographs. There are professionals who do this on a contract basis, however we haven't met any who really "like" to do it.
Couple of problems:
1) Aging photos is an objective process. It is very difficult to predict.
2) Aging photos takes a lot of research. For instance, the artist would ideally need photos of close relatives, parents, grand parents, etc., to predict how the individual might 'age'
3) Finally -- no one likes to take the responsibility. Face it, there's a lot of emotion involved when a loved one passes away. It is difficult for any artist to take the somber responsibility of saying: "Here's what they would look like today." And, then take the disappointments that will come later if the client is not happy with the results.
If you want to pursue this, see:
No, there is no software that does this beyond the proprietary software used in crime labs to build suspect photos. That software is very expensive.
You can do it yourself using Photoshop, but pick up Katrin Eismann's book: Photoshop Retouching and Restoration first.
ALSO SEE: Jim Minton's followup comment to this article: "Aging Photos (Revisited)